I’m always looking for new places to eat and drink in Manchester, so when I see a new one pop up, I’m the first to go and scope it out. However, it seems I was a little behind with Spinningfield’s newest launch – The Refinery – which I walked past the other day and didn’t know a great deal about it. But I was instantly in awe of the place, situation at the side of the new classy XYZ building (which looks out of this world).
So a couple of weekends later, I booked myself, my boyfriend, my sister and brother-in-law in for a late lunch session at The Refinery. And as it was a Sunday, it’s also an excuse for a cheeky Sunday drink to fade away those Sunday blues.
First up: the interior. I’m a sucker for a fresh, clean yet glamorous interior, and that’s exactly the way I’d sum up my arrival at The Refinery. It’s seriously stylish with a touch of dazzling class, yet isn’t in any way tacky or flashy. Think bright hanging lights, dramatic monochrome print flooring, with warm glows of candle light and snuggly sheepskin throws over the chairs. A little eclectic, yet spacious and modern.
Our host was welcoming and friendly, being overly attentive from start to finish. I often make first impressions based on how I’m greeted, as a lot of people do, and our particular host really impressed me. She made us feel looked after as soon as we were seated, going through the drinks menus and discussing the food.
Within 10 minutes, a lovely bottle of red was on the table, and my sister was drinking some delicious ginger infused cocktail (and the men were on Peroni’s – yes the bottle of red was kinda all for me!)
We decided to go all out and experience a three course meal for our Sunday lunch, which lead to three of them ordering the Scotch Egg with chorizo and smoked paprika mayonnaise. They all said it was refreshing to see a modernised version of the Scotch egg on the menu, with all three of them commenting on how tasty it was.
I’m not really an egg fan, so I opted for the satay chicken skewers, in which the peanut infused sauce was incredible. There were four skewers which was a generous portion for a starter, which for someone with a huge appetite like me was great to see.
We all opted for different mains, which gave us variety across the table in which I could check out everyone else’s dishes. Firstly, I’m by no means a salad girl, but there was something about the smoked chicken, avocado, mango and cashew nut salad which just jumped out at me. So well done to The Refinery for actually tempting me for a salad option. This rarely happens.
I wasn’t disappointed either when it arrived. Again, the portion size was generous, packed with large juicy chunks of chicken, mango and soft avocado. My boyfriend went for the Chicken Roast Dinner, which was massive! He had more chicken than he could handle, and he really does enjoy his chicken.
I did get a slight touch of food envy at my brother-in-law’s buttermilk chicken burger with chunky chips and chipotle mayonnaise though. The buttermilk batter was super soft with a slight crisp to it, and for a burger option, it looked delicious!
My sister went for the Wagyu Burger, so quite a mixed bag across the table. I was genuinely surprised how much I enjoyed mine, and even more surprised at how much avocado was packed into the salad. Although a salad to me is usually a lighter option, I wouldn’t say this was a light choice at all. It was just as satisfying, tasty and filling as all the others.
So a three course meal isn’t complete without dessert, and I made no hesitation with selecting the Knickerbocker Glory. This tall sundae glass came stuffed with salted caramel ice cream, honeycomb, almonds and a topping of thick cream. I’d go as far as to say it was heaven in a glass. It had much more texture and ‘things-going-on’ (if that makes sense!) than other ice cream desserts I’ve had. There were chunks of honeycomb, swirls of cream, flaked almonds and a bit of a crunch every now and again.
My sister went for my next favourite dessert I’d been eyeing up – the chocolate brownie with a side of vanilla ice cream. Again, I couldn’t fault this sweet treat. It was rich, dense and packed with gooey chunks of chocolate. It’s safe to say we all left with overly full bellies!
Overall, I’d describe the food offering as fresh, homely British cooked food, suitable for casual dining but also for that something special. I noticed they specialise in brunch deals too, which come with unlimited bloody Mary cocktails. Let me just say I’m VERY interested at checking out this bottomless brunch offering!
It’s a bustling, warm bar and eatery, bringing elements of home comforts to the general vibe and atmosphere. There are rows of packed shelves around the walls, and the toilets even have a jar of Quality Street chocolates in them. Swanky, right?
You can find The Refinery at the XYZ building in Spinningfields, Manchester.